Publication Details

Willemyns, M., Gallois, C. & Callan, V. 2009, The impact of sex and role identity on employees' perceptions of managers' communication style, Proceedings of the Annual London Conference on Money, Economy and Management, pp. 1-15.


This study reports the findings of quantitative analyses of 157 employees’ perceptions of their managers in both negative and positive conversations. The main theoretical frameworks were Communication Accommodation Theory and Social Identity Theory. MANOVA analyses revealed that intergroup dynamics, including (“us vs. them” perceptions such as “distancing”, “dominant” “controlling”) were invoked in the negative conversations, especially with male managers, while in-group dynamics (e.g. “similar to me”, “supportive” and “friendly”) were invoked in the positive conversations, especially with female managers. Further, the results showed that managers were perceived more negatively by their same-sex than their opposite sex employees. Finally, high-roleidentifying employees rated managers in unsatisfactory conversations more positively than low role-identifying employees did. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.